A Father Requested Bedtime Facts To Share With His Daughter, And The Internet Did Not Let Him Down

Redditor ExpiringFrog is a father who has a special tradition with his daughter. Each night at bedtime he likes to tell her interesting facts about a wide variety of random topics. She’s so curious, however, that he soon ran out of fresh facts to share. He turned to the internet and asked fellow Redditors to share their favorite facts, and they didn’t let him down. Over 20,000 comments chock full of interesting facts poured in. Here are some highlights. You’ll want to keep some of these in mind for trivia night or just to impress your friends with your seemingly infinite knowledge of random information.

Bees Do A Dance To Let Others Know Where To Find Food

bee on flower
Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images
Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images

Bees in a colony work together to collect food. Survival relies on finding the most pollen and nectar in the least amount of time possible. When a bee locates a flower with a lot of pollen and nectar, they let other bees from the colony know about it.

What’s most interesting about this is the way that bees communicate the news about “good” flowers. They do a special dance that gives the other bees directions to the flowers. Called the “waggle dance,” the moves tell other bees the flowers’ distance and direction away from the hive.

Underneath Their Fur, Tigers Have Striped Skin

tiger
Endless_Vanity/Reddit
Endless_Vanity/Reddit

This might very well be something you’ve never thought of before: what does a tiger look like underneath its fur? Tigers are completely striped, even down to their skin. The pattern is the same exact one that appears on their coat.

They’re the only cat species that are completely striped like this. Also, no two tigers have the same stripes. Their striping patterns are unique to each individual, much like human fingerprints.

Some Spiders Keep Tiny Frogs Around As “Bodyguards”

spider
sinoloveo1/Twitter
sinoloveo1/Twitter

This fact, shared by Redditor The_First_Viking, received tons of upvotes. They wrote, “Some species of burrowing spiders keep teeny tiny frogs in their burrows to keep it free of bugs too small for the spider to get that might try to eat the spider’s eggs. This means that tiny frogs are spider cats.”

In return, the spider provides the frog with protection from predators and a food source from insects feeding on the remains of its prey. It’s a win-win.

A Day On Venus Is Longer Than A Year On Venus

Crescent Moon and Venus planet makes a close encounter in the sky
Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Venus rotates very slowly, taking about 243 Earth days to spin around once. But because it’s very close to the sun, a year on Venus is only 225 Earth days. This means, as bizarre as its sounds, that a day on Venus is a little longer than a year on Venus.

Days on Venus are very different than days on Earth. On Venus, the sun rises every 117 Earth days (instead of once a day), or only twice during each year. And since Venus rotates backwards, the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. The star you see off to the right in the picture is Venus.

Do You Notice Anything Missing?

an animal without a belly button
dvdloh/Pinterest
dvdloh/Pinterest

People loved this fact! Redditor luxylove916 pointed out something that might be obvious to some but blew others’ minds. “Animals that lay eggs don’t have belly buttons.” Makes sense, right?

Pictured here is an adorable platypus, which is quite an unusual species. These are semiaquatic egg-laying mammals native to Australia. They’re so odd that the first time scientists examined a platypus they believed they were the victims of a hoax, according to National Geographic!

You Used To Be Able To Mail A Child Through The U.S. Postal Service

engineers a big load of sorted parcels
Boris Spremo/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Boris Spremo/Toronto Star via Getty Images

When the Post Office’s Parcel Post service officially began on January 1, 1913, there were some very unexpected consequences to the program’s unclear regulations. Some parents actually mailed their children. The first couple to do so sent their eight-month-old son James to his grandmother a few miles away. They paid 15 cents in postage.

The head curator of history at the National Postal Museum, Nancy Pope, verified this and said she found several other instances of children being mailed. On June 14, 1913, several newspapers reported that the postmaster had officially decreed that children could no longer be sent through the mail, but Pope thinks a couple more might have sneaked through the system afterward.

Better With A Buddy

Emi (L) and Ally (R) eat lettuce while they are having floor time in San Diego, California
ARIANA DREHSLER/AFP via Getty Images
ARIANA DREHSLER/AFP via Getty Images

Now, this fact is just too sweet. One Redditor shared that, “In Switzerland, it’s illegal to own just one guinea pig; if you have any, you have to have at least two. They get lonely!”

So what happens in the sad event that one of a set of guinea pigs passes away, leaving the other on its own? No fear; there’s a Rent-A-Guinea Pig Service available for this exact scenario. An animal lover there started the business to “provide companionship for grieving, lonely animals in the twilight of their years.”

One Way To Tell If A Cat Is Happy To See You

Domestic cat of mixed breed, Felis catus, walking with bushy tail erect,
Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Cats can be notoriously difficult to read, which makes this fact from Redditor calibrateichabod useful for any cat lover. “When a cat walks towards you with its tail up that means it likes you and is excited to see you.”

Cats express lots of moods and emotions with their tails. If you ever see one that’s whipping its tail around, beware! That’s not a cat that wants to be approached.

Which Came First?

oxford vs. aztec
Alfredo Sosa/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images & Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Alfredo Sosa/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images & Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

History buffs will probably enjoy this unexpected fact. According to Smithsonian Magazine, “Oxford University is older than the Aztecs.” Teaching there started by 1096, and it was a full-fledged university by 1249.

Meanwhile, “the origination of the Aztec civilization, marked by the founding of the city of Tenochtitlán by the Mexica at Lake Texcoco, didn’t come until 1325.” Wow. This mind-blowing fact was shared by DoctorWho426 on Reddit.

Some Adult Elephants Weigh Less Than A Blue Whale’s Tongue

elephants
Bronek Kaminski / Barcroft India / Getty Images
Bronek Kaminski / Barcroft India / Getty Images

Although elephants are the largest land animals on Earth, there are some creatures in the deep blue seas that are significantly larger. The blue whale is, as far as we know, the biggest animal to have ever lived. Most blue whales are somewhere between 70 and 90 feet in length, although they’ve been measured up to 110 feet. To put this in perspective, they can be longer than two standard school buses lined up!

A blue whale’s tongue weighs about 8,000 pounds, which is more than elephants, such as a female Asian elephant. That is a big tongue!

My Kind Of Bank

Seasoning Warehouse of Parmigiano-reggiano Cheese - Coop Casearia Castelnovese.
Hermes Images/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Hermes Images/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Redditor crucible had this fun fact to share with the father. “There is a bank in Italy that trades entirely in parmesan cheese.” Woah!

Forbes verified this amazing fact: “Since 1953, the regional bank Credito Emiliano has accepted curious collateral for small-business loans: giant wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.” Harvard Business School has even done a case study on the unique bank.

CGI Tails In Movies

European gray wolf / grey wolf (Canis lupus) hunting in grassland at forest edge.
Philippe Clement/Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Philippe Clement/Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Redditor janello710 wrote, “Maybe not mind-blowing, but sometimes dogs/wolves in movies need CGI tails if they’re supposed to be acting mean [because] they’re so excited to be doing a good job acting that their tails can’t stop wagging.”

Hey, that’s pretty mind-blowing to us! We love to learn that many animal actors love their time in front of the camera so much that they wag their tails the entire time. Such hams!

Lobster Was Not Always Considered A Delicacy

A young boy licks his lips at the sight of a lobster dish (1958)
Keystone/Getty Images
Keystone/Getty Images

Anyone who loves to eat lobster might want to skip this one. Redditor Leifur311 wrote, “Lobsters were considered disgusting and low-class food, to the point that feeding them to prisoners too often was considered cruel and unusual punishment. Also, they’re basically just big sea roaches.”

My, how things have changed. As of 2019, a restaurant in New York City offered up a “Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata” with a whopping $2,000 price tag! We’re going to pass on that, thanks.

The Tortoise Pictured Here Was Alive Before The United States Existed

Adwaita tortoise and handler
harriskiml
harriskiml

“Adwaita, a giant tortoise who died in 2006, was born before the United States existed in 1750.” This amazing fact comes courtesy of Redditor Consequence6. Adwaita, pictured here, lived in the Alipore Zoological Gardens of Kolkata, India.

The current oldest animal in the world is another giant tortoise, named Jonathan. As of 2019, he was around 187 years old and lives on a remote island in the South Atlantic, where he’s been since the late 1880s.

Bananas Are Berries, But Strawberries Aren’t

Fruits and vegetables
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images

Redditor Bluelabel shared this food-themed fact: “Bananas are berries, but strawberries aren’t.” Live Science explains that despite their names, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are not “true” berries but “the banana is a berry, scientifically speaking, as are eggplants, grapes and oranges.”

This is because to be a berry, a fruit must have two or more seeds and must develop from one flower that has one ovary. So tomatoes, peppers, cranberries, eggplants, and kiwis are all technically berries. This is berry confusing.

“Bear” And “Not Bear”

Polar bear cub coming out den and playing around
Andre and Anita Gilden / Barcrof via Getty Images
Andre and Anita Gilden / Barcrof via Getty Images

We can’t get enough animal facts and are thrilled that so many Redditors shared them. This one is from B3ximus. “The name for the Arctic comes from the ancient Greek word for bear – arktos. Named after one of the constellations Ursa Major (Big Bear) or Ursa Minor (Little Bear), but there are bears living there too.”

“So basically, the Arctic is called ‘Bear’, and the Antarctic is called ‘Not Bear.'” Animals and geography all rolled into one fun fact.

A Cat’s Purr Can Improve Its Bone Density And Strength

A group of kittens are play on the porch of a restaurant
Reza/Getty Images
Reza/Getty Images

What a purrfect fact for Redditor ExpiringFrog to share with his daughter. “The frequency of a cat’s purr has been shown to improve bone density and strength,” wrote DoctorWho426. Who needs calcium supplements when you can just purr your way to healthier bones?

Purring is the most common sound that cats make and they do it for a lot of different reasons. A cat might purr when it’s happy, or when it’s hungry, to bond with others, or to heal itself as indicated in the fact we just learned.

Dogs Use Their Sense Of Smell To Tell When You’re Coming Home

Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Anyone with a dog has undoubtedly been greeted at the door when arriving home and wondered how the heck the dog knew exactly when to expect you. It turns out that they can use their keen sense of smell to figure this out.

If you have a daily routine, your dog can tell when you’re coming home by how much of your scent is left in the house! Many cats are also able to do this.

Cows Can Have ‘Best Friends’

Young brown calves in buttercup meadow
Tim Graham/Getty Images
Tim Graham/Getty Images

Cows can have best friends and just like us, get stressed out when they’re separated, according to scientists. Cows are very social animals and tend to form close bonds with friends in their herd.

Having friends is healthy for cows, as it also is for people. According to research conducted at Northampton University in England, “when paired with their best friend…cows’ heart rates were significantly lower and they experienced less stress overall.”

Baby Pandas Are Smaller Than Mice When They’re Born

pandas
Maja Hitij/Getty Images
Maja Hitij/Getty Images

“At birth, a baby panda is smaller than a mouse,” wrote Redditor swil-phift. Gah, that’s another cute one!

When it’s first born, a giant panda cub is completely helpless. The baby’s mother has to put in a ton of effort to raise it. A newborn cub weighs between 3-5 ounces and is about the size of a stick of butter. Pandas are born pink, hairless, and blind. They sure change a lot as they grow!

It Takes 248 Earth Years For Pluto To Orbit The Sun

Pluto, Discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, Pluto is the only planet that has not been visited by a space probe
QAI Publishing/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
QAI Publishing/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Here’s another fun fact for all of you astronomy buffs. Redditor gruenoms shared this one. “From the time Pluto was discovered until the time it was demoted from planethood, it still hadn’t made one complete revolution around the sun.” It takes 248 Earth years for Pluto to orbit the sun a single time!

Pluto was first discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. In August of 2006 the International Astronomical Union downgraded Pluto’s status to “dwarf planet.”

Wombats Are The Only Animals In The World That Produce Cube-Shaped Poo

wombat-poop
John Moore/Getty Images & Hythy/Reddit
John Moore/Getty Images & Hythy/Reddit

Redditor pumpkinadvocate shared perhaps the most unexpected fact of the thread when they dropped this one on everyone. “Wombat poop is cube-shaped.” Um, what?

According to the BBC, there’s a good reason for their waste to be shaped the way it is. “The Australian marsupial can pass up to 100 deposits of poop a night and they use the piles to mark territory. The shape helps it stop rolling away.”

Water Or Air?

Long-Spine Porcupinefish (Diodon holocanthus)
Andrey Nekrasov/ Barcroft Media via Getty Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Andrey Nekrasov/ Barcroft Media via Getty Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

D-Evolve gave Redditors a lesson on pufferfish by clearing up a common misconception about the unique creatures. “Pufferfish are full of water….not air,” they shared.

Pufferfish are slow swimmers, which makes them vulnerable. Since they can’t escape from predators, they can quickly ingest huge amounts of water and turn themselves into inedible balls several times their normal size. Some pufferfish, like this one, also have spiky spines to further protect themselves.

There Were Wooly Mammoths On The Planet When The Pyramids Were Being Built

mammoth-pyramids
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images & Jean-Marc ZAORSKI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images & Jean-Marc ZAORSKI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

DoctorWho426 had tons of fascinating facts to share, including this mind-blower. “There were wooly mammoths on the planet when the Pyramids were being built.” Medium verifies this fact. “A small colony of mammoths survived on Wrangle Island, a small island way up in the arctic.”

“There were as many as 1,000 mammoths living on the island up until around 1650 BC. This is nearly 1,000 years after the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza.”

Cows Love To Solve Puzzles

cow's tongue grabbing food supplements
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

“Cows get excited when they solve puzzles,” was calibrateichabod’s contribution to the epic fact thread. Cows are incredibly smart creatures and their problem-solving skills have been studied by researchers.

One study found that young cows got really excited when they had solved a problem or a puzzle, and some would even jump into the air in joy afterward. The photo shows a cow’s tongue as it grabs some food supplements that are just out of reach.

You Otter Know These Facts

otters
Nature on PBS/YouTube
Nature on PBS/YouTube

Double fact alert, courtesy of Redditor DoctorWho426. “Sea otters hold hands when they sleep and have a favorite rock to hold onto in a secret pouch.” Awww! The reason otters hold hands is so that they don’t drift away from each other while they snooze.

And many otters have a favorite rock that they store in their underarm pouch. They’ll carry it with them wherever they go, kind of like a child might with a security blanket.

Newly-Chosen Queen Bees Are Fed Special Honey That Changes Their Bodies

A queen bee, marked with a coloured dot, is on a brood comb together with other bees.
Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images
Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

When a bee is chosen to be a hive’s new queen, it is fed a special type of honey that completely transforms their bodies.

A bee becomes a queen because of the efforts of the hive’s worker bees. A newly hatched larva bee that has been selected to be queen is then fed a special food called “royal jelly” by worker bees. Royal jelly is richer than the food given to regular larvae and helps the insect develop into a fertile queen bee. The larva is enclosed in its own cell within the hive, where it makes pupae and develops into a queen.

A Blue Whale’s Heart Is As Large As A VW Beetle

whale-vw
Getty Images / Handout & NaturalWorldSafaris/YouTube
Getty Images / Handout & NaturalWorldSafaris/YouTube

This is one of those amazing facts that we’ll just have to trust the numbers for, as we’re not going to be able to actually do a side-by-side comparison. DoctorWho426Report says that “a blue whale’s heart is as big as a Volkswagen beetle.”

Whale Facts backs this claim up. “The blue whale’s heart can weigh in excess of 1,300 lbs. In terms of size, the blue whale’s heart is about the size of a small car.”

There’s An Island In Japan Populated By Rabbits

A tourist sits and feeds a herd of rabbits at Okunoshima Island at Okunoshima Island in Okunoshima, Japan.
Kei Nomiyama / Barcroft Media via Getty Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Kei Nomiyama / Barcroft Media via Getty Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

In the Inland Sea of Japan lies a small island called Ōkunoshima, otherwise known as “the Rabbit Island.” This unique spot is home to about 10,000 rabbits! Legend has it that in 1971, a local boy freed eight rabbits on this island and over the years the number of the rabbits increased rapidly.

Rabbit Island is accessible by ferry from Tadanoumi and Ōmishima. There are sites for camping, walking trails, and various places of historical interest to explore.

Liechtenstein’s Army Returned Home From War With More Men Than It Left With

Army
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

This might be the only time in history that an army returned from war with more men than it had initially. When the Lichtenstein army went to battle in 1866, during the Austro-Prussian War, it consisted of 80 soldiers. Along the way, they met and befriended an Austrian who joined them, bringing their total tally to 81. They experienced no fatalities.

One Redditor joked that if “this is the fact you’d share with a four year old……I guess they would definitely fall asleep quickly.” Hey, she sounds like a clever child, so she may very well appreciate history!